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Researchers from HSE University and Artificial Intelligence Research Institute Train Neural Network to Learn Much More Efficiently

Researchers from HSE University and Artificial Intelligence Research Institute Train Neural Network to Learn Much More Efficiently
Neural network generative models have achieved impressive results in recent years, but researchers are still working on increasing their efficiency. Researchers from the HSE Faculty of Computer Science and AIRI have managed to optimize the finetuning of the StyleGAN2 neural network, which creates realistic images, to new domains, reducing the number of trained parameters by four orders of magnitude. At the same time, the quality of the obtained images remained high. The results of this work were presented at the NeurIPS 2022 conference.

Men Willing to Pay More for Chocolate Than Women

Men Willing to Pay More for Chocolate Than Women
Researchers at HSE University in Perm have used electroencephalography (EEG) to determine that consumers are willing to pay 10% more for chocolate when they know it to be a premium product. On the other hand, if consumers are aware that a chocolate product is inexpensive, their willingness to pay decreases by 13%. On average, men are willing to pay 8.8 monetary units more for chocolate than women, and men's willingness to pay decreases by 0.3 monetary units with each additional year of age. The study has been published in Food Quality and Preference.

Capabilities as an Indicator of Poverty

Capabilities as an Indicator of Poverty
Using a multidimensional approach, sociologists from HSE University have identified some vulnerable categories of the population that have rarely been the focus of research on poverty. According to their calculations, pensioners and people with disabilities also fall into the ‘poor’ category. The study was published in the Russian Journal of Economics.

‘Not Once since I Decided to Pursue Science Have I Ever Been Bored’

‘Not Once since I Decided to Pursue Science Have I Ever Been Bored’
Sergey Samsonov could have become a historian or worked in a hedge fund, but he devoted himself to mathematics. In this interview with the HSE Young Scientists project, he explained why he chose research in statistics and machine learning and how to generate a million images of cats.

Income and Cost of Living Distribution Found to Be Similar in Russia and US

Income and Cost of Living Distribution Found to Be Similar in Russia and US
Researchers at the HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences Laboratory for Wealth Measurement analysed income and cost of living data at the sub-regional level in Russia (municipalities) and in the US (counties). The study reveals that territorial differences in the cost of living are more pronounced in Russia compared to the United States. However, the distribution of overall income across settlements of varying sizes is quite comparable in both countries. The article has been published in the HSE Economic Journal.

People Spend 1/6th of their Lifetime on Enhancing Their Appearance

People Spend 1/6th of their Lifetime on Enhancing Their Appearance
An international team including HSE researchers has conducted the largest ever cross-cultural study of appearance-enhancing behaviours. They have found that people worldwide spend an average of four hours a day on enhancing their beauty. Caring for one's appearance does not depend on gender, and older people worry as much about looking their best as the young do. The strongest predictor of attractiveness-enhancing behaviours appears to be social media usage. The study findings have been published in Evolution and Human Behaviour.

How Semiconductors Are Studied and Created for Nanophotonics

How Semiconductors Are Studied and Created for Nanophotonics
Between March 27 and May 17, applications are open for the Mirror Lab Project Competition. As part of the new applications campaign, the HSE University bulletin (Okna Rosta) is publishing a series of interviews with the winners of last year's competition. In this issue, Natalia Kryzhanovskaya and Maxim Solodovnik speak about nano- and quantum technologies, as well as cooperation between HSE and Southern Federal University (SFedU).

Between Heaven and Hell: How Russians Feel about Digitalisation

Between Heaven and Hell: How Russians Feel about Digitalisation
Widespread internet access, low-cost mobile communications, convenient online services and banking applications make everyday life more comfortable, access to resources more equal, and society more equitable. Russians’ attitude towards the expansion of technologies such as AI was debated during an expert discussion organised by the HSE University Centre for Social Research and Technological Innovation and the St Petersburg Politics Foundation.

Comics: From the Middle Ages to the 21st Century

Comics: From the Middle Ages to the 21st Century
The 8th Russian Comics Conference ‘The World of Comics’, organised by the HSE Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies, took place online in March 2023. Over the two days of the conference, 44 comics researchers from Russia, France, China, and Malaysia presented their papers on comics history, narratives, visuals, and animation.

Russian Researchers Explain Origins of Dangerous Coronavirus Variants

Russian Researchers Explain Origins of Dangerous Coronavirus Variants
HSE researchers, in collaboration with their colleagues from Skoltech and the Central Research Institute for Epidemiology, have uncovered the mechanisms behind the emergence of new and dangerous coronavirus variants, such as Alpha, Delta, Omicron, and others. They have discovered that the likelihood of a substitution occurring at a specific site of the SARS-CoV-2 genome is dependent on concordant substitutions occurring at other sites. This explains why new and more contagious variants of the virus can emerge unexpectedly and differ significantly from those that were previously circulating. The study’s findings have been published in eLife.